Cervical Cancer Awareness Month 2024

Julia Pirson
January 22, 2024

January 2024 is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. The main cause of cervical cancer is infection with high-risk types of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This family of viruses is extremely common and transmitted through sexual contact. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer and the World Health Organisation has set a target for its elimination by 2100. This ambitious goal can be achieved by three pillars, each with a corresponding target:

• Vaccination – 90% of people with a cervix, fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine by the age of 15 years.

• Screening – 70% of people with a cervix screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35 and again by 45.

• Treatment – 90% of people with precancer treated, and 90% of people with invasive cancer managed.

Countries should aim to meet the 90-70-90 targets by 2030 to be on track for elimination of the disease by the end of the century.

Public Health Wales manages cervical screening in Wales, and in March 2020, the coverage of screening was 73.2% across Wales in ages between 25 and 49 years and 74.3% in ages 50-64 years. Uptake of the two doses of the HPV vaccinations in children up to the age of 15 was 75.1% overall in September 2023. Changes were brought in following guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, that a single dose of the vaccine provides excellent protection, and from September 2023 onwards, children will be offered a single dose.

Yma is the implementation partner for the national roll out of HealthPathways, in Wales. A Cervical Screening pathway has been created by national clinical leads in the area and is now live and available for health boards to localise to their region for use by clinicians in their conversations with their patients.

The thumbnail and image above represent the atomic model of the Papillomavirus capsid from the EMBO Journal, 21, (2002), pp4754-4762.

They were obtained from VIPERdb (https://viperdb.org).

"VIPERdb v3. 0: a structure-based data analytics platform for viral capsids. Montiel-Garcia, D., Santoyo-Rivera, N., Ho, P., Carrillo-Tripp, M., Johnson, J.E., & Reddy, V. S."

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